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Affordable homes for Devon’s most expensive district

Affordable homes for Devon’s most expensive district

Work is beginning on Westward’s latest affordable rent development Palstone Meadow, in South Hams, the district with the highest average house prices in Devon.

The site, off Exeter Road, in South Brent, is next to our current estate Fairfield and will consist of 14 new affordable rent homes. These are a mixture of flats and two and three-bedroom properties.

South Hams has the highest average house prices in Devon at £336,784, a ratio of house prices to income of 14.3.

Statistics from the recent National Housing Federation’s Home Truths campaign shows average private rents are £767 in South Hams with average incomes of £23,613. This equates to 47% of average monthly net pay, highlighting the need for affordable housing in the area.

With the income required for an 80% mortgage being £76,979, this would require a pay rise of over 300% for the average earner.

There are currently 67 people directly on the waiting list in need of affordable homes in South Brent but this rises to around 1,900 in South Hams as a whole.

Westward Executive Director for Development and Commercial, Jill Gregg, said: “Westward is pleased to be working with Cavanna and South Hams again to provide more affordable homes in the District.  We need to make sure that local people are aware of the opportunity to rent one of these homes and would urge anyone who is interested to register on Devon Home choice.”

The 14 Westward affordable rent properties will be:

– 4 x 1 bed flats; 6 x 2 beds houses; and 4 x 3 bed houses.

This is part of Cavanna homes development of 40 homes in total, which is scheduled for completion in autumn this year.

Chairman of South Hams District Council and South Brent ward councillor Peter Smerdon said the council was fully behind affordable housing for local people.

“SHDC want to do as much as we can to help bring forward affordable rented homes in this ward. We assisted some recently at Holne and Rattery and now these are in the centre of South Brent. We need local people to register for these with Devon Home Choice as the need for young families to live in the villages and towns they grew up in is important,” he said.

Fellow South Brent ward councillor Robert Steer echoed his comments saying: “It is good that these are for local people. Youngsters get pushed out of villages and have to move to Totnes or other towns to find accommodation.”

South Brent Parish Council Vice Chair and member of Dartmoor National Park Authority Cathie Pannell said: “We would like all the homes built to be affordable rent but we realise there has to be a share for open market sale. With the National Park there are constraints as you would expect with house building but Brent will take a reasonable amount of new homes.”

Chris Hart, Acting Head of Planning at Dartmoor National Park said: “We are proud to be part of a partnership which will see the delivery of 14 much needed affordable homes for local people in South Brent.  The new houses will be well integrated into the attractive development by Cavanna Homes.”

South Hams also has the highest number of second homes in Devon with 3,995 and the council has had £1.8 million of community housing funds to offset the effects of this which will deliver homes through community initiatives such as Community Land Trusts.

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